“Polymer Clay Artists Are So Helpful And Friendly” ~Tracey-L
Everyday I do some web surfing to look for new polymer clay and jewelry making inspiration. Each time I seem to find some wonderful surprises along the way. Like the other day when I came across a blog post by Tracey at Livvy Lu Design that was titled, “Polymer Clay Artists Are So Helpful And Friendly…” Naturally it caught my attention so I clicked through to read [2010-02-12 Update: The original page for the Livvy Lu article is no longer available on the Interent].
What I found was some very sweet words along with a link to my blog. Thank you Tracey! That was so nice of you to reference me.
In Tracey’s article, she included a photo of her mixed media Valentines heart. I re-posted it above to give it some more exposure. It’s a beautiful little pendant piece… or possibly a charm.
Now I noticed that Tracey claims to be a newbie… which got me to thinking… what exactly is a newbie anyway?
Since Tracey probably hasn’t worked very long with polymer clay, that technically makes her a beginner. But if she is skilled in other crafting mediums as well as in design, is she truly a Newbie? Should she be feeling like one?
I’m not so sure. Now let’s talk a little about why this distinction is important.
Sometimes I see people either selling themselves short because they think they aren’t as good an artist as someone else… or thinking they are better than others because they are more skilled.
The problem I see with that is, the Newbie and the Expert tend to distance themselves from each other. Therefore losing the opportunity to learn from each other.
Even a polymer clay “Expert” can’t possibly know everything there is to know about polymer clay and jewelry making. Just as a “Newbie” rarely comes to the table with no skills whatsoever.
One thing I noticed a few years ago, was that there was actually not a lot of online places where Newbies could go to get support… someplace where you could feel comfortable asking real basic questions without being made to feel second rate.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of sweethearts in the polymer clay industry like Tracey said. But in general my early observations were that the experts hung out with the experts and the newbies had to figure things out for themselves.
However, with the popularity of blogging these days, this segregation is changing. People of all levels can ‘pop in’ and communicate with each other at quite a few places now. And this is a very encouraging trend.
One of my goals for having this blog in the first place, was to give the new person to polymer clay, a place to hang out and learn and be part of a helpful community. A place where they didn’t necessarily have to feel like a ‘Newbie’. A place where other experts could drop by and share their skills and maybe even pick up some new ideas for themselves.
I love it that Tracey feels comfortable here. I love her beautiful heart pendant and I love it that she drools over mine. By the way, here is my heart shaped polymer clay pendant if you haven’t already seen it yet.
Keep up the great work Tracey. You have a lot to contribute!